tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 26, 2015 1:00am-3:01am EDT
rists and other groups. i want to particularly thank the members of that commission, and meese, --ed meese the former attorney general. this commission was put together at the instigation of my predecessor, frank wolf and it is comforting to see the progress that the fbi has we will be working through some tough questions in today's hearing, mr. director, and we will make sure the investments we make have a real impact on national security, reducing crime. we deeply appreciate your service to the nation and i would like to recognize mr. fattah. >> i thank the chairman, and thank the director for being with us today. you said recently that we have in every single state the bureau has active investigations around terrorism.
obviously, it is a major concern, even the activities taking place in all parts of the world. part of the big discussion was whether or not -- how we recalibrate ourselves to deal with these challenges. because here i was about catching people after they have done something wrong and in the case of terrorism it is a different approach where you are trying to prevent something catastrophic from happening. by people who, in many instances, have no desire to get away. it is a much different circumstance. it will be interesting as we talk about cybercrime, which is a big deal, and a lot of these other issues -- obviously, this is something that from a national government perspective, the decision of the commission
was that we should not have a terrorism only entity, that the fbi was quite capable of dealing with this challenge, and the bureau has proven today. but you also faced criticism from some of the processes you had to utilize, which in some cases is the question of whether or not people are espousing ideas for taking action. you know where the line falls. so i will be interested in your , comments, your budget will do everything necessary to make sure that you have the support needed to protect the country. because you are not going to protect the fbi -- you will have the fbi protect the nation. we had the responsibility to find resources. i will be looking forward to your comments on the subjects i have raised. >> thank you. we recognize mr. rogers from kentucky.
mr. rogers: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. director, welcome. i was looking at your resume your work record. prosecutor. i did that for 11 years, myself, on the state level. state and district level. so i commend you for your education and your experience in that regard. pardon my raspy throat. i have caught it. the chanted rightly said that -- the chairman rightly said that the fbi has a critical mission protecting homeland. frankly, the charge to the fbi has changed dramatically over the last decade or so. when i first came to congress in 1981, we were focused on catching armed robbers and all
of that. but now it is such a sophisticated and complicated new charge that you have dealing with counterterrorism, hostile foreign intelligence agencies, espionage, domestic and foreign cyber threats. cyber is a new word. now it is a new challenge. , and of course, the traditional caching of crooks and these in -- crooks and fees -- crooks and thieves in dangerous criminals here at home
particularly drug-related. especially prescription pill taxes that cdc says is a national epidemic. you have a hefty load. we are going to try and give you what we can afford to help you fight all of these charges. and it won't be enough. but there is a limit on what we can appropriate. we are confronting an extremely difficult budgetary climate here. in fact we are debating today on , the floor the budget, which is severe and strict and stays within the sequestered levels. so we are not dealing with a lot of new money, hardly any. it is extremely important for you and others like your agency, which rely so heavily on intelligence information, to leverage and maximize the partnerships towards the local state, and international level to ensure that every penny the taxpayer spends is targeted,
efficient, and effective. in fact, last week, i visited with the interpol in france. my second visit with them. and in the last several years, that agency has grown. when i was there the first time, 10 or 15 years ago, the difficulty i saw at that time at our agencies were not participating in interpol. as they should. now they are. it is imperative that we continue that work with interpol. as i'm sure you will agree. you have been taking strides in recent years to treamlining and optimize your intelligence components, but i think we can all agree that much work is
still to be done there. last year, you requested and we granted permission to restructure the fbi's intelligence program. to more seamlessly integrate intelligence operations. and i hope you can provide us with an update on those efforts. particularly, as we all begin to assess the report evaluating the fbi's implementation of the 9/11 commission recommendation. finally, i want you to provide the committee with some information about how the bureau is working to combat the threat of homegrown, domestic extremism. isis has demonstrated very sophisticated recruiting techniques through the internet and social media. and by some accounts, as many as 20,000 fighters have traveled from 90 countries to fight in
syria, including some 150 from the u.s. that we know about. it is imperative that we work to prevent the radicalization and recruitment of american citizens who could later return to the u.s. and cause us harm. i know the fbi has an important role to play in that regard. we would like to hear about it. so mr. director, thank you for , your work and your dedication to your country. and all that you command. >> thank you. director comey, i appreciate your service to the country. thank you for being here today and we will submit a written testimony in its entirety as part of the record without objection, and welcome your testimony today.
sir to the extent you can , summarize it we would be grateful. and again we look forward to , hearing from you. thank you. james comey: thank you, mr. chairman. i will be very brief and i want to start by thanking you for your support of the fbi over many years. the fbi's budget request for 2016 is about maintaining the capabilities you have given us which is mostly people. the magic of the fbi is its folks. 70% of the budget goes to analysts and surveillance specialists, and my goal is to be a good steward of the taxpayers' money. we have asked for two small enhancements -- one that relates to cyber and the other that relates to our efforts to integrate better our systems with the rest of the intelligence committee. each of those is about a $10 million request. we are about sustaining what you have already given us and you have supported the fbi in ways that we are extremely grateful
for. the threats that we face are well known to this committee and you alluded to them in your remarks. counterterrorism remains our top priority. counterterrorism has changed dramatically. since i was in the bush administration. they have changed in the 18 months i have been on this job. the shift has been the growth of the group that called themselves the islamic state from a safe haven in syria and portions of the iraq. they are issuing a siren song to troubled souls that travel to these so-called caliphates, or if you can't travel, kill someone where you are. and that siren song increasingly goes out in english and on social media and reaches into our country where it is consumed by people who are very hard for us to see. because they are in their basement or space and consuming poison.
in deciding whether they want to travel or harm someone here at home. increasingly the focus is on people in uniform. we saw isil calling for harm to come to our military members. over 100 servicemembers. the threat we face is global. it moves at the speed of light. it is increasingly difficult to see. most due to the complex spiderweb of social media. we spend all day every day working on this. yes we focus -- i tried to find , those needles in our 50 state haystack who might be radicalizing and responding to this poison and even planning to travel. or planning to do harm here at home. we have investigations focusing on homegrown violent extremists. it used to be 49 states, no alaska. that has changed. we have got all 50. that is no cause for
celebration. we're working with our partners in state and local. a lot of folks think of the 50's and 60's and 70's -- it is alive and well. that threat comes at us through human beings, the internet -- we are trying to prevent that. we are responsible for protecting children in this country, people from fraudsters, the ravages of drug dealing and violent crime. and i have got folks all over, they work every single day. and edward about cyber -- and a word about cyber, the threats i mention increase and comes at us through the internet. you mentioned the modern fbi and how it was born of the 20th century. the automobile and the asphalt made it necessary to respond.
50 miles an hour. 60 miles an hour. we are facing a vector change now. it dwarfs that. john dillinger couldn't do the threat we face through the internet. it moves at the speed of light. everyone is next-door neighbors to everyone on the internet. so we are working very hard to make sure my criminal investigators, my counterterrorism investigators -- all of our international operations are growing. in our ability to be good in cyberspace to protect kids fight fraud, everything. that is about people, training, technology, and smart deployment. i will mention one thing that most folks don't know about the fbi training. i had a chance to visit our facility down in alabama. and we do that down that at the red stone arsenal down in alabama. we spent time there building the world's greatest library of improvised explosive devices.
another thing the american people don't realize, the hard-earned tax dollars have bought it and it is worth the money. we now have the ability to compare the forensics of that and samples we have collected in an operation that is centered in alabama. the work that is hidden from the taxpayers, not intentionally, it does not get a lot of headlines. i will close with this. local partners are central to everything we do. i have been to all 56 field offices to build those relationships. and i do something else, which i think every member of a law enforcement family should do. when someone is killed, i make a call. to express our condolences and offer help. i make too many calls. i had three officers killed in
this country. two yesterday. totally different circumstances. a navajo indian reservation in fon du lac wisconsin. and california. they were all murdered by thugs. they didn't deserve that. they left behind families. it leaves me today with a heavy heart. we are having important conversations. i'm keen to make sure we have conversations and understand what is at stake in the sacrifices made in the men and women in law enforcement and the kind of people who sign up to do this sort of work, especially with the loss of life. just in the last it is on my 24 hours. mind. so i thought i would mention it. i will close with thanking you for your support. the 9/11 review commission, we told the world we have released pages. we declassified as much as he could. and their message is, you have
done great, if not more than enough. that is my message for the fbi. to know that you are good. never be satisfied with it. we are in progress of transforming capabilities. we still need to go farther. and the american people deserve us to be better than we are today. my pledge is i have got a .5 years to go i will work every day to make this better. thank you for your time. representative culberson: thank you. you remind us to keep officers in our prayers. our hearts go out to the families of those three agents who lost their lives. it is something all of us keep in the forefront of our minds. the sacrifice in risk that all of you take in protecting us and the country from these incredibly complex threats. it is apparent in this new era the scale of the problem is huge. that you have to rely on state and local authorities. it is a team effort. the genius of america is the
founders envisioned a system of where protecting lives and property. it is vested in the states and in the good hearts and common sense of individual americans. there is a vital role for individual americans to help defend the country. really the most important role. one thing our enemies will never be able to defeat the good hearts and good common sense of individual americans defending their families, homes, neighborhoods, communities. the work that our local police and state officers and what they do is indispensable. and that partnership with you is vital. i appreciate you mentioning it. and the evolving threat we face is important motivation behind chairman wolf's amendment to create the 9/11 commission.
which released unclassified report today. as i mentioned the authors of the report i appreciate you , mentioning it in your opening testimony. one of the key recommendations they made that i know you have begun to do is the vitally important role that intelligence analysts play in the new world the fbi confronts. and could you talk a little bit more of the work that you are doing to implement the recommendations of the 9/11 commission to professionalize the intelligence analysts position within the fbi. director comey: thank you, mr. chairman. the fbi didn't have that service as recently as 13 years ago.
and, so we have made great , progress, but transforming and creating a new element to the organization i believe is a generational project. and so bob spent a decade on it, i announced as soon as i started i would spend my decade pushing on that same change. it is about attracting great talent. training and equipping them right. it is about having the rest of the organization except them learn to work well together with them. and we are doing that extremely well in some places. other places, not so much. what i'm doing a bunch of different things. i am making a personal priority site review a series of projects to drive that forward. i grade our leaders on it. and i working hard to make sure am people understand that this is something the fbi has always done. we have always been in the intelligence business. this is about making this great organization better.
so it is one of my three personal priorities at the fbi to make sure that i drive the integration between intelligence analysts and our operators and make it good everywhere in the united states. representative culberson: in particular, in the making the analyst positions and moving them into senior management levels, making sure they are integrated with that into your career service and syria -- and senior management positions. director comey: yes, sir. i created a separate intelligence branch. so the leader of the branch was much closer to me so i could see that person and drive it. i appointed a very special talented agent to that role, i love him as a person. don't like him as a concept. i have got talent coming up towards that. but i don't know we have made material progress. untold the intelligence is led
by a career service professional. representative culberson: also the panel's recommendation that the fbi have a five-year plan. like the defense department, a strategic partnership. do you agree with the concept? director comey: i have to give it more thought. i don't want to create plans just for the sake of writing them. there have been a lot of institutions where people spend a lot of time writing them, they sit on the shelf. i look at where there is an overarching plan that ought to be written. covering a five-year. . i told him i would get back to them. i don't know if that makes sense. for me. representative culberson: your information sharing with state and local police departments and law enforcement authorities is a good story. talk to us about that. director comey: we have broken a lot of barriers both
technological and regulatory policy. between us and state and local law enforcement. the culture had changed. we lean forward and push things out as a matter of reflex. i ask about it everywhere i go, all 50 states. i say how are we doing? the answer is, you are doing extremely well. we have seen a dramatic change. it is the right thing to do. it is practical and we need these folks. our joint tasks force -- they contribute their talent to us. i believe i have a great marriage, but i believe i can be a better spouse. we have a great relationship with state and local law enforcement. i want to continue to do better, if we can. director comey: if a terrorist is an average american, using judgment to spot something
peculiar, or a local police officer a sheriff having spotted something and it is their instincts tells them something is out of place in wrong, it is a good story here and frankly, the entire 9/11 commission recommendation is encouraging to see the sum of what they have sent to congress is a good news story. in the unclassified and the classified version. you have done a good job. responding to the 9-11 commission. we appreciate that very much. representative: when i became ranking, one of my first visits was one of the places where you do joint operations looking for children and the innocence lost project.
which the committee has supported. we have now been able to rescue some 4300 children. but as you know, there are thousands of children who are missing. many are being exploited in all kinds of terrible circumstances. you, as a director you have to , prioritize. what is your greatest resource? your people. your agents. i have also been out to the screening center. very important work going on there. you have to make decisions about whether someone is tracking whether a child is being exploited or a terrorist. and so on. can you to share with us, as you are working through these issues, how have you prioritize this under your leadership? director comey: thank you. the work involving kids is some of the most important and meaningful that we do. as the father of five, i have
gone out and visited and met with folks who do this work. and told them there is nothing morally deeper than that work. take care of yourselves. it eats my people up. the way we approach it is i view the fbi like a safety and football. we have certain assigned coverages. right? counterterrorism counterterrorism -- that is nonnegotiable. every game, every opponent, that is our sensibility. but beyond that come and look to the primary line of defense. where do you need us in this game? do you need us in the middle? should we play run support? should we play deep? that will be different in every game against every opponent. and so the way the metaphor works i told my special agents , in charge that in the cities in which operate, figure out where we can make it. a tackle.
i don't want to jump on piles. figure out where we are needed. right? we are a big agency, but we are small compared to stay and local law enforcement. figure out where they need us to make a tackle. and that is institutionalized in threat review and prioritization. we figure out what rights in the u.s. we need to make a tackle on. in philadelphia, where are we needed? in phoenix, where are we needed? in birmingham, where we needed? then we come up with actual list. representative: i don't think most americans know that thousands of children are missing every week in our country. and some end up exploited for years on the internet. and other ways. you know, if you have the image of the officer shot this weekend
-- one of the things you do is chase bank robbers. right? somebody who is a special agent in charge says we're going to go after bank robbers or this little girl who is being exploited. and, you know with limited , resources -- i understand decisions about what is funded. and none of them are -- i guess you would want to do that all. i guess you would want to do it all. director comey: the way in which we make a decision is sit down and talk to people. social service agencies. law enforcement. ok i'm the special agent in , charge in philadelphia. who is doing what to address that problem here? given that, where what i rank it on my priorities? we do the same thing at the national level. in washington, we say what about
, things that could happen that the fbi might be able to help with? there are 304 that things. given who else is helping with those bad things and the harm, how would we rank them? and then we do that. we come up with a national threat ranking of the threats we could face. it is imperfect, that it is the way we try to balance it. we do the work you are talking about in every field office. representative: the chairman mentioned interpol. ryan, he is a friend of mine who runs interval. he is been doing a terrific job. the europeans have something magical going on. they could make an arrest of prosecutions throughout 28 countries with no extradition and none of these other issues. they have a system that we cannot do state to state. in america, which is interesting there is language and , sovereignty issues and nationalities. to work law enforcement in a
much more seamless way. it is something we could learn as we go forward. thank you. thank you, chairman. representative culberson: chairman rogers. representative rogers: the biggest change that i have seen in my experience as far as the fbi is concerned over the years has been the graduation from investigating committed crimes and preparing evidence for prosecution, and then there is today's world where you are working to prevent events from leading to crime before it takes place. counterterrorism, trying to prevent terrorism. trying to keep spies away. the constant barrage of cyber threats foreign and domestic.
prevention rather than prosecution although there might be prosecution. that is a significant change. and it has taken an effort on part of the fbi leadership to try to get it through that agencies about this new world in which we live in the mission -- of the fbi. more in prevention then prosecutors in. do you agree with that? director comey: very much. the transformation that has happened in the fbi is one from a place where we were criticized with some justification. for working our inbox. something came in or a call came in. we responded. we investigated. to stepping back and having taught full people say, what are the that things going on here that might happen? and how do we find out more so we can address it before it
happens? and that is the intelligence transformation. we have always been, i am the director of the fbi -- i say this with pride. i think we are the best in the world at finding stuff out. what we're getting better at is what stuff do we need to find out? who else needs to know? the stuff that we found out. what might we not know? what are we missing? and be much more thoughtful. that, taking the intelligence talent and connecting it. with a special agents. representative rogers: and the current world war, the terrorism violence, is a worldwide event. so we are in a world war. and we are up against a sophisticated enemy. the recruiting of foreign
fighters into syria and iraq. we haven't found a way yet in my opinion to effectively stop or even slow it down. and it is more than law enforcement or an fbi mission. but it certainly is an fbi mission. just last week, we learned about a 47-year-old air force veteran who tried to join isis. and before his apprehension he worked for a number of american firms overseas. including a u.s. defense firm in iraq for whom performed avionics and u.s. army aircraft. we've had several stories like that.
is there a magic bullet to try get at that problem? director comey: there isn't a magic bullet. to us, it is a full-court press. it is about making sure we have sources where we need them to be. that we have the know-how and the capability in the online space. they're far more likely to hear about a guy thinking about leaving the community. and going to syria. what happened with that guy is the egyptians that spotted him when he was sent back from turkey alerted us and were able to lay hands on him. representative rogers: the prescription drug problem has been devastating in my part of the state and the country.
particularly oxycontin. now that we are beginning to make a dent in closing them down in other places and finally getting the fda to change the formulation of drugs to make them non-abused, a lot of the country is shifting to heroin. and the drug cartels in mexico i'm hearing are now getting into the pill business. because of the enormous profits there. what can you tell us about that? director comey: i think you identified something that doesn't get the attention it deserves. the dea has the lead here, but we do a lot to support them. i know a fair bit about this.
we see the mexican traffickers increasingly shifting to heroin. white heroin, used to be brown heroin coming out of mexican. what is happening is it is supplanting pill abuse. because it is cheaper. easier to get. it is extraordinarily deadly. the people using it, sounds like an odd thing to say they don't , realize it is 97% pure. people from all walks of life are dying. as i travel the country, i see it sweeping south and west. i heard about it a lot. in the northeast, the north-central. now i'm hearing about it everywhere i go. for economic reasons, it is cheap. in the traffickers are pushing it in. we're spending a lot of time trying to work with our partners to disrupt the traffickers and impose costs on them and drive the price up.
so that we don't have -- i think there were 6000 deaths from heroin last year. so we can push those number of tragedies down. representative rogers: still people are dying from pill abuse than car wrecks. so, even though, part of the country is switching to heroin pills are still a big problem. , mr. chairman, i have used my time. quickly, and finally. representative culberson: not at all. representative rogers: quickly cyber threats -- where are we? director comey: cyber is a feature of every threat the fbi is responsible for. we see i describe it as an evil , layer. at the top level we have got , state actors looking to break into our corporate systems for their economic or intelligence advantage.
then we have organized criminal groups, looking to steal information for criminal part. and we have got all manner of thugs and criminals and pedophiles down below. our lives are there. my kids play on the internet. it is where we bank. those who do harm to children or credit card information or our banks, that is where they come. there isn't a single cyber threat. it is the bad guys have shrunk the world. belarus is next door to birmingham on the internet. where working hard to shrink that. i can make the globe smaller so we could impose some cost. everyone thinks it is a freebie. we have to impose costs on these people. even if they are in pajamas, they aren't afraid to break in
and steal what matters to us. representative rogers: russia? do we have absolute presidents are from states? governments? military? director comey: russia is a significant player, as is china obviously. two huge operators. in that world. representative rogers: we have proof they are attacking our databases. russia china, and other governments. director comey: yes. representative rogers: what are we doing? about that. director comey: name it and shame it. we did last year by indicting five people of the people's liberation army publicizing them
, on posters. there are stealing our ideas and innovation. and people say indicting them is not going to do any good. you will never catch them. we have many flaws. we are humans. never say never. people like to travel and get the kids educated in the u.s. or europe. we are trying to impose costs. part of the cost is the naming. call it out. chinese are stealing our innovation, creativity, our jobs. >> in fact, it was this subcommittee men that many years ago who brought attention to a foreign government hacking into his files. and he sort of let the way. boy, it has come a long way. and i'm not satisfied at all that we are doing whatever we can do to try to stop it. or counteracting area -- or
counteract it. thank you, mr. director. representative culberson: it is of keen interest to us. particular interest to me, the work you've done i've had a , chance to come out here. the work in the classified setting. very impressive. what advice if you could tell the american public out there listening some good basic rules to protect them? good hygiene practices? twoo avoid cyber attacks. director comey: folks should exercise the prudence of wandering electronics as they would in real life. they lock their car. people should behave the same way on the internet. it is actually a bigger neighborhood, a bigger parking lot. and in some ways, more dangerous.
when i tell folks is very simple. an e-mail is a knock on your front door. opening the attachment to an e-mail is opening your front door. you would never open your front door without looking through your peephole and seeing who is there. all the time, folks get an e-mail, people open that attachment. also, know where your children go to play. at least i do. and folks need to know, where are they going? who are they interacting with? it is a kind of parenting and common sense we exercise in all parts of our life except when we're sitting at the keyboard which makes no sense at all. because we have just made the entire world our neighbors behind the keyboard. representative culberson: i heard your wonderful analysts talk about with some of your cyber folks that 80% of protecting yourself against a cyber attack is good hygiene like washing your hands, are some of the basic things you have mentioned to us.
thank you, director. representative: thank you for coming to testify before the subcommittee. as you know, a key tool to fighting crime is a combined dna system. forensic science and technology to identify suspects and assist the successful prosecution of criminals. last year's budget hearing and brought up assault kits. is around 500,000. the untested ones. shortly after that, the alameda county began discussions of the backlogs. of the uploads. and i am pleased that the fbi laboratory staff i met with may facilitate dakota's upload of dna profiles linked to the suspects of accused sexual assault crimes.
and having said that, i want to add my thanks to frank wolf who really carried this and helped us see it entirely through. the appropriations bill includes 41,000,004000 for the first point of the backlog in the police evidence rooms. and hopeful to see a program in fy-16. i want you to know we are committed to this issue. i encourage you and your staff to continue to work with them on the pilot project. it will focus on another point of the backlog that is a technical review from a private labs work. before the upload. i would like to turn to have the second point of the backlog can be addressed.
mainly, the implementation and the police booking stations. i'm a firm believer in having the arrestee sample tested while that arrestee is in the booking environment. that will reduce the burden on government labs. and i'm hoping that you will be able to continue. i raised this last year as well. i know the fbi is supported of rapid dna. since last year's budget hearing, tell me what progress has been made? to amend the use of rapid dna in booking situations. and once the relevant requirements have been amended what is your timeline assuming it has been amended for implementing? in law enforcement agencies. director comey: thank you, mr. honda. and thank you for your continued focus on the rape kit backlog.
there are rapists that will victimize more women. and the key to stopping them sits on the shelves in a lot of police departments. so i appreciate your focus on , that. i promise you we will remain , focused on it as well. on dna, we're big fans of the idea of the capability in booking rooms. that a sample could be taken when someone is arrested and uploaded immediately. i have talked to dna experts. they continue to work -- there is a private company making these devices to give them guidance on what will be needed to make it able to connect to our database in a way that preserves the sterling representation of our database. my folks tell me there are all kinds of challenges around making sure we have the right software and hardware to connect the devices. good progress is being made. they think we are a few years away from being in a place this is a common feature. even in our biggest cities.
i understand it does require legislative authorization. i don't know where that sits inside the executive branch. i think with the office of management and budget -- it is being looked at for privacy issues. both are marching along at the same time. the technical fix and the legislative fix. that is my understanding today. representative honda: there are thousands of kits. 500,000 cases that are being left without the great evident that dna provides. so victims and arrestees are at , bay waiting to get justice. and i think that the quicker we move and implement this, that we can reduce these backlogs and have people really enjoy the benefits of our technology and have a rapid response.
to justice. mr. chairman, if i could indulge with one quick question, thank you for adding to the fbi training manual, which will include guidance to report hate crimes directed at arabs and hindus. and i think it will produce information. i do have concerns about the comment made last month on racism while policing and you said it is ridiculous that you couldn't say how many were shot by the police last month or last year. it may be taken out of context but that was the quote. as i understand, they report incidents to a database.
on justifiable homicide. this is problematic the fbi have estimated from arrest-related deaths -- primarily due to agency participation issues. could you discuss what the situation is? currently, with voluntarily reporting. director comey: thank you. it wasn't out of context. i do think it is ridiculous. i couldn't how many were shot by the police at any period of time. yesterday, last week, last year -- because we don't have uniform reporting that is universal. not all these departments we
, have 70,000 police departments. they are not all reporting encounters to us. violent encounters with suspects. i don't have confidence in my data. what i meant is it is ridiculous i could tell you how many books were sold on amazon or how many with the flu went to the hospital. we don't have data. every conversation about police is by definition that is a crazy uninformed. that is a crazy place to be. it is a voluntary system. it requires the support of local and state law enforcement. the sheriff and the chiefs agree with me to give us this data. what do you need? we will talk to congress more on the road? are there incentive? have folks give us the data. we are not in a good place now. it is one of the things i'm trying to do, after the speech i gave, to improve the records. representative honda: perhaps with our good chairman we could look at this and see if we could
be of assistance to you to acquire these different information. because voluntary reporting on police shootings it doesn't seem , to be acceptable of what is why and what is not going on in our country right now. >> there are violent encounters they encounter every day on our behalf. representative: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to express my gratitude to the appropriations committee and members of congress for allowing me to serve. i know everyone was heartbroken of his passing. and although i do not believe his shoes could be filled.
i hope to serve this committee with the best interests of the united states, just as our good friend did. with that said director comey, i appreciate you are here and the sacrifice that your agency provides for our security and protection here at home. and i'm sorry for your loss for the three fbi agency mentioned . we have lost a u.s. marshall in the past month. he is from south mississippi. it was in the line of duty. he left a wife and unborn child to carry on his legacy. we know what you all sacrifice day in and day out. some of the best people the world serve in our law enforcement. i would like to follow up with what chairman rogers mentioned that he mentioned china. homeland security.
my former committee piques my curiosity. they seem to be aggressively building up their military and space capabilities. i don't want to put words in your mouth. we know the government of china is involved in cyberattacks on american governments and enterprise. and so knowing that and indicting five individuals, i don't think it works with china. they have the consent of their government. so with that, how do we counter? , what do you recommend to us and how to counter these cyber threats? both internally and externally. you can use an unnamed country if you do not want to pound on them. i would like to hear your
thoughts. director comey: thank you. i may have misspoken. the lives that were lost were police officers. one state trooper and to police officers. it doesn't make any difference. it is people lost in the line of duty. with respect to china, the question of what could be done about them is one that is both beyond -- one that even if it was, we wouldn't discuss it in an open forum. but what we are trying to do is make sure our responsibility is to investigate cyber intrusions to the u.s. and make sure that our government has a full understanding of who is doing what so we can figure out what to do about it. one of the things we do is bring criminal charges as part of a toolbox approach to change behavior with the chinese. there are a lot of international forums.
our government is working to adopt some norms. to get the chinese to go along with them. it is my function that the fbi is to understand what they are doing and show our government, here is what we see. representative palazzo: i understand the cyber threat is real. and i think congress and the american people are recognizing it is real, clear, and present. i hope we're doing everything we can to provide your agency and others with the resources to counter this threat. because not just illegally downloading music, but there's a huge fear if they engage in some form of cyber attack it could cripple our critical infrastructure. and, you know the last thing i , would want to see is the lights go out and your atm doesn't work in the navigation on your car, it calls for huge amount of panic.
you also mentioned something of the siren song of the radical islamists. we don't really see them. they are not obvious to us because they are in their basements. they are consuming this form of poison. could you profile with this person would be? and is there something about their demographics that make them vulnerable to this poison? because i agree it is poison. and we don't need our young -- we don't need anyone consuming it. director comey: in a way, i wish i could. that is one of the challenges to this threat. is, when we talk about travelers -- these people range from 18-62. there are from any part of the
country, any background. they are -- they were either raised in the islamic faith or converts, but my have all different kinds of backgrounds and they consume this and develop the view that this is how they find meaning in life. so, they are people who are troubled souls seeking meaning in life. but there isn't a poverty marker. some have jobs. they have this misguided sense the need to participate. in the apocalyptic battle. some are losers. they have trouble with jobs and petty crime. there is not a particular pattern. we started this pretty closely and search for the pattern. so far, i cannot offer you one. representative palazzo: thank you. i yield back. representative culberson: the back door of a trojan horse could be created with the piece of a computer system or
hardwired with a computer chip or telecommute occasions equipment, it is invisible. you cannot see it. it is so bad. wahwei in particular. and these chinese-own countries. the australian government just prohibited the sale of any government entity there. let me recognize this time. in the state of alabama. representative: good to be here today for this hearing. thank you for knowing what we do done in alabama. we appreciate it. way to mention huntsville. i met with some of the folk's from the birmingham facility recently.
one of the things we talked about in the mentioned to me was the new iphone 6 has an encryption and it that you cannot get into that encrypt. there is no backdoor key. and i just wanted to know what is or what is the fbi's position on apple and google's decision? both to encrypt the smartphones. director comey: we have a huge problem. we in law enforcement -- the judges issue search warrants or interception orders. were unable to execute on those orders. and because the device is locked or the communication is encrypted.
we are drifting to a place where a whole lot of people look at us with tears in their eyes. what do you mean you cannot? my daughter is missing. tell me who she was texting with before she disappeared. i think we need to have a conversation in this country of where we are going. i don't want backdoors. i want, with court process the ability to gather evidence. probable cause, the fourth amendment is clearly in play -- i follow it. we need a discussion. it is a huge feature we are discussing. with sheriff's and chiefs, and domestic violence cases, child exploitation cases, car wrecks. i don't know exactly what the answer is. but it is something we have to talk about. representative: you mentioned the mother shows you the phone and you cannot get into it. the mother shows you the phone and you cannot get into it.
can you let us know the damage it has done to the fbi? director comey: we have encountered it in drug cases. all of your work we encountered it. i'm not in a position to offer a percentage or a number but it as feature now and obstacle in a huge percentage of our criminal investigations. it will only become worse and worse. i heard tech executives say privacy should be the paramount virtue and i say try to imagine what the world looks like. pedophiles and kidnappers and drug dealers can't be seen. i don't have a number to express it as. i hear it all over the country we are drifting to a place happen not talking about it. representative: what can we as a committee do to help you with this? director comey: one of the
things that administration is working on is what would a legislative response look like? that would allow us with court process to get access to that evidence? it is complicated. it involves communications care and key device makers. i think it will require some sort of legislative fix. if you want to do business, we are about the rule of law. we don't want to create spaces beyond the reach of law. this is no safe deposit box or car trunk that can't be opened without authority. that cannot be opened without authority. where heading to place where huge spaces beyond authority it will take a legislative fix. representative: it does not matter resources, a legislative fix that needs to be dealt with. director comey: i think that is right. we need to figure out what are the trade-offs associated and what are the public safety interests and how do we red shirting con sylreconcile them. i think it as conversation we
have to have. representative culberson: talk to us weekly about the court case in the supreme court where a phone was seized as part of a routine police arrest and the police picked up the phone and looked at it and the guy said, you cannot look at it. talk to us about that case. what if anything we can do. can't apple see what is on here and court order? cowed be pcouldn't you get it from apple? director comey: no. the iphone 6 design -- apple is unable to lock it. it becomes the safe deposit box with no second key. the bank cannot get into it. a judge cannot order access to it. representative culberson: is apple voluntarily made this decision to fix it so the user is able to lock it and they are not able? director comey: that is correct.
i'm not trying to pick on the folks at apple or google. their view is they are responding to competitive pressures. people want to have a zone of privacy. so do i. but to have a zone of privacy outside the reach of the law is concerning. mr. chairman, with roux spect respect to the court case our practice has been to get search warrants for devices. that makes sense, especially given all our lives are there. it is a suitcase carrying your kids pictures, documents. it was good sense to me that this is different than it used to be. it should have fourth amendment implications. that is is the way we treat it. if i want to look at your phone without your consent, i would go to a judge and make a showing of probable cause and get a court order. if i could get the phone open, i could look at it. the challenge is our inability to access it even with a court order. representative culberson: one
more question -- have you heard that there is a rumor that apple has made an agreement with china about this as a precondition to selling their phones there? director comey: i don't know anything about that. representative: thank you. representative culberson: chairman carter? representative carter: there is a way forward, right? is life or liberty is in jeopardy, i want you to get into the phone. if it doesn't involve life or liberty i'm interested what the founders had to say about the right to privacy and protections of personal papers and so on. i'm interested in what they had to say in the protections of personals people that people's personal papers and so on.
the people we represent have some interest in privacy. that is why these companies are trying to produce a product that gives them that privacy. we also need to protect public safety. if there is a terrorist who has a bomb and you need to track where they are, we need to be able to do it. it is good what the judge does next. representative: i'm chairman of homeland security appropriations and seven on the defense sub committees. we have all of the national defense issues with cyber. and now sit on this wonderful committee. second basercyber is pounding me from every direction. every time i hear something, something pops no my head. i don't know anything about this stuff. if they can do this to a cell phone why can't they do that to every computer in the country and nobody can get into that?
if that is a space, them the solution to the invaders from around the world trying to get in here? and if that gets to be the wall, and even the law can't penetrate it then aren't we crowiating an in -- creating an instrument that is the perfect tool for lawlessness? this is a very interesting conundrum that is developing in the law. of if they could put something in that computer to where nobody but that owner could open it why can't they put it in the big, giant, supercomputers? that nobody but that owner could open it and everything gets locked away secretly? that sounds like a solution to the great cyber attack problem we have got. but in turn, it allows those who would do harm to have a great tool to do warm where law enforcement can't reach it.
this is a problem that has to be solved. and if you are following the bill of rights you have every right to be able to go before a judge and present your probable cause if he sees this that is right, get a war aren't and get into the -- a warrant and get into the machine. i don't think there is a right of privacy issue in the world that prevents you following the law to do that. if that is what they created they created a monster that will harm law enforcement, national security and everything else in the country and really needs to be addressed. that upsets the heck o out of out of me. i don't think is right. representative: if you had a case in front of you where you had evidence of a crime in a safe that was locked and the owner had the combination, how would you handle that? representative: if there is probable cause, we will give
them the right to a search. if he made it search proof and even the guy who created the monster cannot get in there, that is bad policy. representative: there is no safe like that in the world. representative: you get a court order and go crack the safe. representative: but if you cannot crack the safe, that is what they created here -- 245 thatthat is a real crisis. representative: that seems valid. representative: the issues of privacy are protected by that bill of rights. representative: i knew we would find wisdom from the judge. [laughter] representative: the question, the distinction i would ask is this -- the court order would be for hard-line. you could get a court hard for
tapping the line. under fisa we can get a court order to tap into information used with a phone. accessing information on a digital phone that has what we might want to call intelligence also, accessing that would be like accessing a person under oath and hearing information they may have inside of them. you might have to look at the kind of legislation that equates our intelligence. and transactions as our own provie say. there would be a sanction if we lie under oath. if we have a chows now choice now of opening up our own phone and even the company can't do that yeah, i would just try to make a distinction --
>> i didn't yield him my time. but let him talk. he's a nice guy. representative: i'm trying to make a distinction between the kinds of laws that we write and author, in one set of technology, when we're looking at artificial intelligence and we're looking at another kind of technology where we can make safe our own information accessing that is going to have to have another level of thought like we had to do with the accessing and tapping into technology. a safe is still the old technology. i think -- >> analogous to the situation. representative: if you have access to a phone that the individual who bought it can open up, then you can have certain kinds of force of law that would require them to be able to testify -- director comey: it's an interesting question. forgive us, judge. representative: i just wanted to raise that. representative: thank you, judge. representative: it really is a
really interesting conversation that we started here and i'm glad to get the judge's wisdom on this. representative: the other question i wanted to ask you last time we were here you said one of the things you were concerned about is am i going to be able to get in the workforce the quality of people that i need in this cyber war that we are facing. how are you doing on being able to recruit the intelligent workforce that it takes to go off in the special area of national security and crime? how effective have you been since our last conversation? one of the things you expressed last time you were here and i wanted to give you a chance to say how effective you've been and what can we do to make you more effective? director comey: thanks, judge. pretty good. but it's too early for me to give you a high confidence read. i have been climbing out of my hole from sequestration. we've been hiring lots of people. so far so good and they're
staying. once you get to do public service, it becomes addictive, even if a lot of other companies are throwing a lot of dough at you. my cyber division attrition rates are very low. folks are getting in and realizing it's fun to do good for a living. it's early. we should talk again in a year when i have a full two years of data. representative: this is not only the issue you've got, but homeland security is looking at this issue too. one of the question has come up for us to discuss is what are the opportunities to contract with these people who have these firms that all they do is this kind of work and maybe is that something that government can do effectively and safely protecting government's interest, subcontract some of the work to the great computer wizards of our world. that's something we need to be thinking about and we're looking at it right now in homeland security, as to whether or not that is a safe and appropriate thing to do, to subcontract. that's something you might think about.
i was in a room full of smart people yesterday morning for breakfast and i understood about every fifth word. thank you. representative: thank you, judge. representative: it's complicated. it's an incredibly complex universe of computer out there. i'll recognize the state of washington, ms. butler. representative: i have three pieces here and i'm going to make them as a brief as possible. i appreciate your time. i'm going to start with -- i'm going to start on a different track and come back to cyber. why not mix it up. actually this does have a relation. in your submitted testimony you mentioned the internet facilitated sexual exploitation of children as an evolving threat that your agency is facing. there are thousands of children every year through sites like
backpage.com and other internet sites that are sold. backpage and other sites have acknowledged the existence of prostitution and sexual exploitation and of minors on their sites and these sites are accomplices of basically promoting prostitution and exploitation of minors. i want to know where the fbi -- has the fbi prosecuted any of these companies for knowingly permitting the exploitation of girls and young women on their sites? director comey: it's a great question and a really important question, because you're right. we're seeing an explosion of the abuse of kids through the internet and the selling of kids through the internet. the answer is yes. we have prosecuted the people behind an outfit i think called redbook that was in california. we locked up the proprietor running it and one of these back pages outfits and that shut down the site. we may have taken civil action to shut down the site.
so yes, we have. representative: follow up. since the online facilitated sexual exploitation of children is an evolving and prioritized threat, help me understand your allocation to that area of investigations and how does the internet against crimes against children program fund fit into that? director comey: we have task forces that focus on this -- i'm going to forget the number, but it's more than my number of field offices. we have two in some places. we do this in every field office, we do an operation called operation cross country where we work with state and local partners, because it connects to the cyber stuff. a lot of the ways in which we find the people that are going to exploit kids are through the advertisements where we try to take down in a swoop a bunch of these people, rescue the kids and lock up -- i hate the word pimp because it sounds like a 1970's comedy thing. these are slavers.
we lock up the slavers. and to try and send a powerful message. i'll have to get back to you on the second part of your question where the internet crimes against children fund fits in. representative: i'm glad you mentioned that operation cross country because i think the demand size -- you know, a lot of the work that we've been doing at a state level is changing the perception. we've been much more successfully here federally. these are victims, young children who have been brought into this slavery, form of slavery, trafficked and exploited. and what we have -- now we're turning our eyes to how do we beat the demand. how are these people prosecuted. there's nothing more frustrating than knowing a 17 or 16-year-old
girl who has been prostituted is the one that faces the criminal penalty and a john walks free. it is infuriating to me. so your foe focus on the demand -- your focus on the demand side, both these portals that the criminals are using. and i agree pimp has almost been romanticized in some areas which is pathetic. but these johns, the slavers need to be the focus. you said name and shame. some of the people who are buying these children are people that at times are amongst us. switching -- and we're going to continue to focus, so we may continue and follow up with your staff and your team. cyber, this is my last question. premera blue cross in washington state had a real serious cyber attack last may, but the company did not discover the breach until january of this year. and upon the advice of the fbi and a cybersecurity firm, the company waited until march 17th to provide notification of the attack. according to the information we received to date --
about 11 million customers nationwide and about 6 million in washington state, including my constituents may have been compromised. so i guess i want to hear why did the -- why would the fbi recommend they wait to make that information public when we're talking about names, addresses telephone number, social security numbers and in some cases, medical history, banking data, so on and so forth. director comey: thank you for that. i don't know the facts enough to know if it was january to march. but we do sometimes ask companies to hold off for a little while so we don't alert the bad guys. as soon as it becomes public whoever is doing it goes under ground. representative: i would assume that's a 24-hour or two-day -- from the previous briefings that we've had with the we've had with the cybersecurity division, that's not a two-month window. if it is, we're not doing something right. director comey: the two-month window seems odd to me but it's more than a 24 hour time frame. it's a search for the ground zero computer to see if we can find the digital dust is from
where the bad guys entered. and in a huge company sometimes that takes more than a 24-hour period. two month i don't really understand. representative: i would love a follow-up on that, that greatly concerns me. thank you. i yield back. representative: thank you for being here today. sitting here listening to these discussions all over the place i have an almost 10-year-old and a 6-year-old. and the thought of one of my children going missing and you not being able to do anything about it because of what we already discussed is terrifying. but i can say this. thank you for the work that you do for our country and i appreciate the challenges that you have. i'm new to the subcommittee. so i, too, am not an expert in cybersecurity by any stretch. it's like going to school every
day to learn more about what you do and the challenges you face. i was in huntsville, i know you touched on birmingham and i know you mentioned huntsville. it was great to be at the new tdot facility. they're like delivering furniture. it was not complete yet. there's no bodies there yet and even some of the equipment. but it was fascinating for me to learn about what they're doing. this is the terrorists explosive device analytical center. and i also had the chance to stop by the hazardous devices school, which is great as well where they train local law enforcement. so i guess what i wanted to talk to you about, some of the things that they mentioned as a challenge was personnel recruitment. because just nationally it's
difficult to find individuals that have the expertise to be able to do this type of analysis on i.e.d.s. i wanted to talk about your budget request and where you see any shortfalls in personnel for this new facility. and you know, what -- how we can make this vital center a reality. director comey: thank you so much for that. i too visited there in the last eight weeks. and they were just -- i could smell the fresh paint. very exciting. because it will make a big difference. it will save lives. that place will literally save lives. the answer is i think we're doing okay in terms of recruiting and hiring back. we were down many, many, many vacancy slots in the fbi as a result of sequestration. we hired about 2,400 people last year. i'm trying to hire 3,000 this
year. and then my budget request this year is simply about being able to sustain that. to hire foes those folks and keep them on the job. of i don't think i'm going to have a problem staffing t dak. i'm going to transfer people and i actually went down and met with the staff at quantico and said, wait until you visit huntsville. you'll think i don't want to be sent to huntsville. wait until i try to get you out of huntsville. i don't think we're going to have a problem. i think the committee has supported us, well enough. it sounds like a corny thing to say, i'm lucky enough that the fbi has justifiably a very strong identity in american life. people want to work for the fbi and they want to do the kind of work we're doing in huntsville. folks are banging down the door. i advertise for special agents and i get 20,000 applications in two weeks. i think we're going to be okay there. representative: and that's great to hear. talking about the hazardous devices school, i forget what they call it, but the staging areas. director comey: the villages.
representative: yeah. director comey: we blow stuff up in the villages. representative: they're wanting to expand that. it's an expensive, expensive school to operate because of what they're doing. but the equipment that they use so if you could talk about that a little bit. director comey: there's such a demand for that. again, that is as you said where we, the fbi train all state and local bomb teches in the united states. there are thousands of bomb technicians in the united states. they're all certified and trained at the hazardous devices school. but to be trained effectively you need to work with buildings that have a real feel to them. that's what the villages are. a church and a supermarket and things you practice in. representative: they put the church next to the liquor store. director comey: they just showed me the church. they didn't show me the liquor store. representative: well they try to say it was like alabama. i wasn't going to accept that. director comey: thanks to the
support of this committee and on the senator side, we've gotten the funding to build an additional number of villages. which will really help us. how many additional? six additional villages and people shouldn't think that's a whole new town. it's a little cluster of buildings, that will enable us to meet the demand. the military as it's downsizing and shrinking its commitment to the hazardous devices school. we're using the support we've gotten from congress to try to make sure that we staff up to make sure that we stay the same. i think we're going to be okay there was the verdict i got when i was there. representative: again, thank you for the important work that you do and everybody that's with you on your team. we appreciate your commitment to our country and our safety. thank you. representative: thank you. i wanted if i could to follow up on one of the questions that chairman rogers brought up about foreign fighters. director comey, we have seen estimates as many as 20,000 have traveled from 90 countries to
travel and fight to syria, about 150 americans who have traveled to syria and iraq to fight with isis and other terrorists groups. could you talk to the committee -- and this i recognize is an unclassified setting -- about your ability to be able to identify and keep track of these folks and the americans that may be traveling over there and what can this subcommittee do to help you deal with the threat? director comey: thank you, mr. chairman. it's a big feature of the work and enormously challenging. the number of 150 is the approximate number of americans who have travelled to syria in connection with the conflict. some have gone for humanitarian reasons, some have gone due to associate with isil or other groups. so one of our challenges is, even with those we've identified, trying to understand what they are doing there. not everybody who is going there went there to be a terrorist but we treat them all like they are and we cover them like a blanket when they come back until we
understand it. our challenge is trying to make sure that with our partners in the intelligence community and our foreign partners, we have the trip wires in place to spot americans who might be going toward that area of the world this is hard. there are thousands of americans every day that fly towards right, the mediterranean, fly towards turkey for all manner of reasons. we need the help of our partners to spot those who might be transiting turkey. the turks have been a big help to us there and that relationship has gotten increasingly good. then here at home to -- the challenge to come back to state and local law enforcement is i'm not highly confident that 150 is 150 is 175, so i'm only missing 25 or 150 of 300. i -- i just don't know. because again it's so difficult in a wonderful free country like ours to know who might be traveling with bad purpose.
that's where it comes into the research we do online to spot them and our relationship with state and local law enforcement. representative: we have the benefit of judge carter being here talking to us, how much tsa and homeland security doing? how are they working with you? what recommendations would you make to the chairman that anything homeland needs to be doing. director comey: i think we're in a good place, judge, with respect to cvp. they're on the joint terrorist task force and the national terrorist task force. we all recognize they have the eyes at the border, outbound and inbound. we're lashed up with them very closely. one of the lessons of the boston marathon bombing was we need to make sure we're even more effective working with them. the key partner turns out to be cvp and i don't have a recommendation for improvement on that right now. representative: my understanding
judge, and director, is that the united states didn't have the ability to track visas. if they overstay on visa, we're not doing a a good job of -- doing a good job of tracking these guys. once we are in the country we don't know exactly -- representative: we don't have an exit policy right now. if they overstay a visa, they can know they're overstaying it but they don't know if they've left or not. that's a real problem. representative: that's why i was asking the question. representative: but that's not really where he's coming from. working together, i think there's a good, good working relationship between the agencies and the fbi and others. our guys are doing a pretty decent job on the law enforcement side of it. we need an exit policy but it's going to cost them, start counting in billions of dollars when we start doing it and that's one of the problems we've got in this particular environment we're living in right now.
representative: but you can spot them when they leave the country if you've flagged their visa, you think they might be a problem, they leave the country, homeland security is able to share that information. representative: we don't have an exit policy right now. we don't know. director comey: but if we have an interest with someone, we share that with cvp. representative: then we track the individual. we do that every day. but just the average joe that flies over here on a plane for a vacation, if he stays -- representative: or overstays. representative: we don't know that he didn't leave. he could have left. we don't necessarily know whether he left or didn't leave. representative: we have -- i know also the patriot act up for renewal at the end of may. it will expire. all of us have an interest in protecting the privacy of law-abiding americans, you do as well. remembering benjamin franklin and what he said about trading a little liberty for safety. will soon wind up with neither.
probably lived if your district at some time in the past. that is an important lesson for us all to remember. can you talk to us, and also the americans watching today, the protections that the patriot act builds into the privacy making sure the privacy of law- abiding americans are protected and the threshold you have to cross to get a court order or access. and that suitcase that we all have with us. director comey: thank you. representative: and how important the patriot act is to you. director comey: i tell folks and at the public, americans should be skeptical about government power. i tell my british friends is because of you people that we built it the way we built it. you can't trust people in power. i'm a nice person, i am an honest person, you should not just me. you should want to know how it is designed. the patriot act is a great example.
if we want to get someone and their business records, using our authority under section 215, we have to go to a federal judge and get that authority. and then make a report to congress about how we are using section 215 and we discuss it in oversight hearings. repeatedly. the legislative, judicial, and executive are working together and then my work on 215 and all of our patriot act authorities is odd at this timed by an inspectionor general who reports reports to congress on a regular basis. will these are great. it is burdensome, but that is the way it should be. there are judges, there is oversight and every piece of the work that we do. the reason that the patriot act authorizes and why it matters much, especially what i mention, section 213 is the authority that allows us to go to judges and get authority to get documents or tangible things or records. if that expires and we lose that authority, we will have a gap in our ability to respond to spies
and terrorists that i cannot fill with grand jury subpoenas or some other manner of process. that is very worrisome. that is a part we don't talk about. and the second i mention is roving wiretaps. in criminal cases, if the drug dealer is swapping phones, as they frequently do, a judge to issue an order that allows us to follow the person so we don't lose him. the patriot act gives us that authority when we are fighting authority when we are fighting spies and terrorists. i think people would want us to have that same authority. we have to make a showing to the judge of probable cause and written affidavits and overseen by the courts. the challenges, it just took me two minutes to explain and often people not and say it's terrible what the patriot act has done. i hope folks don't do that. representative: also, for people to know that mr. snowden is no hero. can you talk in an open setting
of why people should not think of him as a hero? director comey: i don't want to say too much because i hope mr. snowden will realize that the greatest country in the world has the fullest and freest criminal system. and he will avail himself for the rights and opportunities of being able to defend himself in our criminal justice system. i hope he will leave russia and come back here. i want him to have a fair trial. he don't want to dump on him too much. i guess what i would say is those that want to describe someone like that as a hero take the corpus of his work and hug the whole thing. representative: remember he carried out how many laptops? representative: a lot of records. and so you need to look at the entire damage to our ability to track terrorists and spies, the whole network. representative: thank you, mr. chairman. your budget is a inside of a
bill. the bill has a number on it, but the d.o.j. portion thereof, you are are seeking $8 billion. we have another part of the budget growing exponentially. from $1 billion to $7 billion. it is the federal prison budget. it as big concern because the federal prison system is gobbling up this budget that the committee has discretion over. and there is a sense that the country incarcerates people that don't need to be incarcerated. we incarcerate more people than any other country in the world. and so we set up a commission that has two former members leading it out of oklahoma and alan guatemala -- out of west virginia. we put some experts on it, including the head of corrections from the city of
pennsylvania which i think was a very wise choice. and they are looking at what it is that we might be doing about something that we kind of call justice reinvestment. what we can do so move away from things that are not working. the overemphasis on incarceration and to move some other direction and there is states texas at the forefront actually are looking at aggressive activities particularly in terms of the juvenile system and not incarcerating some of the young people. i am interested in your view about who the country, you know, somebody said here, if it is someone that did something we didn't like we should put them in jail. and i would like to hear what your view is about this problem and what you think we should do about it.
director comey: it is something thinking about. i think we can always be smarter about how we incarcerate and how we use the course of aspects of the criminal justice system. i think we can be a whole lot better in preparing people to reenter society. that is something we as a country have done a very poor job of. i want to make sure that if i am involved in an effort like that, that i am thoughtful about what connection, if any, is there between the incarceration rate and the fact that we have historic low levels of crime. i wouldn't want to do anything where we say 20 years from now we really got that wrong. because we achieved a level of production that was unprecedented. i want to be thoughtful about, that. a lot of people smarter than i should think about that. and i want to know, who are the people in jail, in federal prison and why are they there and what are the risks associated with them. the reason i say that, i often hear people talk about the nonviolent drug offenders in
federal prison. i have never put anyone there by that description. and i can't find a whole lot of federal prosecutors that say i prosecuted a nonviolent low-level drug offender. there may be a lot of folks like that the data is correct. besides that, i want to be effective. representative: this is almost an equal part to our budget of what your request is now. and that point, it was at $1 billion. and the number of inmates actually has, as in the crime rate nationwide goes down, the inmates has gone down. a lot of that action is at the state level. not necessarily where we are. let me move on to a different subject. the committee would be interested in your thoughts as we go through the process and as the recommendations from the
group comes back. so sandy hook took place a little while ago. it was a tragedy. you know, every year, not just the loss of police officers, there are literally thousands and thousands of americans just being shot and killed. already already the access to firearms which the supreme court has said people have a constitutional right to and that is the law of the land, as a law enforcement official, how do you, and ty jones is leaving as the head of the sister agency, what should we be doing and thinking about as a nation vis-a-vis the question of firearms? director comey: all aspects of that are beyond my expertise and my authority, except for one piece. i spent a lot of my life trying
as a prosecutor trying to make sure that criminals were deathly afraid of being caught with a gun. and if the criminal was caught obviously committing a crime with a gun or just possessing it, there are severe consequences. i have long believed that most homicides are happenstance homicides. what would otherwise be a fist fight for a rock fight becomes a shootout because it is there in the clothing. it is there in the waistband. and that if we can make the criminal or criminals very good at rational confrontations -- we want in the criminal mind that you should be afraid, you should think more about your gun that about your socks and shoes when you get dressed to go out and deal drugs. and i think that is effective. i am a big supporter, not a big part of the fbi, of maniacal enforcement of felony possession, drug dealer
possession. there is no excuse for a criminal have one, none. >> there has been debate on the hill about prosecution of people you locked up as terrorists in article 3 courts. as best as i can tell there are no insurance and no issues. the prosecutions have proceeded during the normal course and justice has been served. is that your sense of this? is there some -- i mean because we have the depate and the administration wants to close guantanamo and get out of business of incarcerating people without a trial and just incarcerating without having any do you process because they think of it as a problem for the country internationally. is there any concern you have about the ability of our court systems to handle these cases?
>> representative: distinguish between foreign nationals captured on a battlefield overseas vs. an american citizen? director: . >> a harder conversation. representative: whether or not there should be concern from the standpoint as a country that our court system is capable of prosecuting within our article -- director? >> director c only only mey: we offer a fair trial representative: thank you. >> representative: let me recognize mr. palazzo. mr. honda? representative: i appreciate your flexibility and the judge's flexibility, too. i have a real quick question.
in 2016, pie area will be -- my area will be hosting the super bowl and in the past three, four years probably we have been tracking the super bowl activities in terms of human trafficking and in that light you have the transnational organize the crime which addresses trafficking of women and children internationally. you also have a discussion around the child sex tourism initiative and addressing child -- instead of saying prostitution i say child sex slavery because prostitution has another con know connotation if my find. is there a staff we can collaborate with and spoke with to anticipate the 2016? we are already working on cyber systems with our local entities in terms of light rail high
speed rail and those kinds of activities and airports. it would be great if we could work with some of your staff to check and double check the kinds of things we are doing and see if there is anything else we can do to collaborate? director comey: i'm sure that we can. we having per have expertise. we do a lot of work around super bowl events. i would tell people come to the super bowl for all kinds of good reasons. if you are coming to pick up kids or involve in prostitution involving children we will lock you up. we will get you what you need on that. representative: and we like to look at public education and engainling the other agent agencies to be aware and trained. would be greatly appreciated. thank you mr. chairman. >> judge carter?
>> judge carter: thank of you mr. chairman. have a little judge prosecutor discussion here. we -- i'm not a law professor but this is the kind of think we to be thinking about. we are telling our industry okay, the cyber attacks are real. they are coming. home depot got attacked. sony got attacked. just heard about blue cross getting attacked. you got to build your fort. we are not -- part of our plan for second base are security is to tell industry build a fort. protect yourself. be prepared. we are helping you assisting you, be prepared. now, whether that attack is a crim ital act or act of war is an interesting debate to have. i would ask everybody in the cyber field what is your opinion of when a cyber attack escalates above a criminal activity and
becomes an act of war. most people say it is a policy decision. i understand that is a good copout. but just a discussion it is an interesting discussion. but then there is an even more interesting thing because what you will have ultimately is almost we are going back to the middle ages. building a bunch of little forts around our industry. some of these forts will about very powerful. i would bet the fort around microsoft is extremely powerful. the fort around apple is extremely powerful. not only powerful in defending themselves from an attack outside but they will actually have the ability to counter attack. and when they counterattack they can start an international insurance tent. they could start -- incident. that is a question we have to ponder because quite honestly, we are as a government promoting them to pilled that build that fort and that is nothing more than build your
own castle and pro text your castle. there are some that will always be able to be in the defensive posture. those with the offensive capability may go offensive. and from a criminal justice system we have to decide has that person gone too far just like the security guard that protects uses his gun in the protection of the bank or so forth, some of it is going to be self-defense, maybe some of it is not. ehave to make that determination. we may have to make that determination in the cyber world at some time in the future if a private entity protecting its own property decides to counterattack in a cyber attack which we certainly have the ability to do at least we presume we do as a government. then you to presume some of these big monster tech industries have the ability to counterattack. how is that going to affect us
in the criminal tampa bay the world of criminal -- the world of criminal justice or are you thought about that? directionor comey: i thought about it. weigh as a country can't allow it. it is against the law and should remain against the law. it is great to build a father but if you start throwing rocks or throw barrels of oil down it can have knock on effects hard to predict and could drag us into a place we don't want to be. it is unlawful for a private entity to hack back and makes good sense to me. but i also agree that there is a crying need from a lot of private enterprise for our government them to fill that space. and that is a harder policy question. but we can't have each of these castles start throwing stuff out into the square. that public space is a place where the government ought to be
operating. representative: if you look at the dark ages that is exactly what happened. -- france couldn't control the individual castles. england couldn't control the individual castles, caused all kinds of social turmoil in the middle ages and arguably we could be going to the cyber middle ages of everybody tee fending their own because the government is mostly and right now we are taking care of the government and some instance taking care of our body politic of commerce. but the individual person with the ownership as got to protect their own. and i think that on the horizon we have got real issues because the government has got to come in and say how far can this person go to protect their own? director comey: if they develop
an a-- representative: if they develop an ability. if somebody comes up with that, that is going to be a very large offensive tool that somebody could use. it is a question that the government has got the to start thinking about because this is a big deal. and at some point that is an act of war. then the government has to go to tee fend the individual's property. if they bombed microsoft or bombed exon mobil building in dallas, i think we would be with a fly oh -- if a fly over care dropped a bomb we could call it an act of war. the question is will we get to the fact where it is an act of war by basically destroying that business. a tough question. director comey: it is. are representative: and we have to think about it and the professors in law school have to think about it. we have to come up with the
question. director comey: if the marshall doesn't provide safety they will defend themselves to protect their families from the bad guys. the government has to fill that public space and defend the citizens. representative: you are probably right and this is a huge task. thank you. representative: and great question and good analogy if the government is unable to defend the public space if the marshall can't be there for the homestead outside of on out in indian country, how we have got to all of us provide a self-defense, what extent does an individual or a business have the right of self-dough fence for example in the cyber world? there no clear answer, i guess director: hard question. republicantive: a questionrepresentative: reare cree
crating the castles today. >> and the conversation about the apple 6 in the case of a safe where you have a court order to get the contents of a a safe you have probable cause to believe contains of of a crime if the safe is uncrackable and either the owner can in the or will not open it, is the general rule does the company that built the safe have the ability to open the safe? thereis there any requirement that the company that built safe have the ability to open it? is there any legal requirement? how does that work, judge and directionor in your experience? director come y: we can get information from the manufacturer or just blow the door off. representative: but the manufacturer could tell you. representative: i have to go. i want to thank you tore with you do. representative: that is true. i won't keep you too much longer. either the blow the safe or in
your experience the manufacturer always had the ability to open it? in some way, shape or form? director comey: i don't know that we compelled a manufacturer to give us assistance. i don't know enough. representative: drill it or blow it? because that is another problem we have to again protecting people's individual privacy but recognizing if you have evidence of a crime locked up in suit case how in the world do you get at that time. let me ask about before we wrap up and i will follow up with other questions for the record, the importance of information sharing with inspector general? it is a question that is ongoing with every agency under our jurisdiction, the inspector generals have a vital role in notifying us this they do audits and if the -- and if the inspector general is denied access to information they have to notify the committee and we have gotten several notices from
the inspector general and we mentioned this to you and your folks before about the f.b.i. failure to comply with the access to information requirement. and i know that the f.b.i. has disagreement on what the law requires. and we have both written a letter to the attorney general asking the office of legal counsel to resolve a matter as quickly as possible. i just would like to ask you sir, what steps are you taking to ensure the inspector general gets the information they need this a tilely manner? and what -- in a timely manner? and what if any conflict of interest may there be in the agency being investigated bit inspector general be in a position to decide what information the inspector general needs? particularly since the inspector general has, as you did as a prosecutor, the ability to row view things this a confidential manner in camera as a judge would, so to speak, since the
inspector general has criminal investigative authority and can maintain the confidentialallity of the information, shouldn't the i.g. be the one or be able to work with him in a confidential behind closed door manner to decide information that this they need? what are you doing to help them get what they need for example in this case? director comec: an important issue. i lob my i.g. the only thing i love more is the rule of law. the f.b.i. office of general counsel has given us legal advice over several general counsels over what the wiretap act and grand jury secrecy act provides with with ability to give information to the inspector general. we just have to solve that problem which should be fairly easy. as you know, legal counsel looking at the question. i think the new deputy attorney general is working towards resolving the question. i node someone at a high level in the department of justice say it is okay, you don't have to go to a judge' you can turn over
wiretap or grand jury information to the i.g. and problem solved. i have no interest in obstructing the i.g. i also don't want to be us just turning over stuff that might be protected under the statutes an someone saying you were told by the general counsel the law required this. i just need clarity there. and the other thing i'ming to in the meantime is trying trying to speed up the business processes so that we do what we think act of war very to do unthe law much more quickly. representative: i'm interested in getting it done in a timely process. with are you doing to expedite so they can gentlemen information they need to do their job? >> director comey: building better processes to quickly produce and copy and search for information. i won't go into the boring details. i have an internal consultant shop that are that are geniuses. like making cars. how we can to that more
effectively. that will not solve the legal question, but i think i can solve the business process and then if i can get the leadership of the department of justice to solve the legal question it will all be love -- it won't all be love but it will be if a better place. >> mr. honda? representative: i also on behalf of the subcommittee and people of texas that i'm proud to represent want to express our deep gratitude to you for your service and the men and women of the f.b.i. that you do to keep us safe while protecting privacy and precious constitutional rights as law-abiding americans. we are your best backup. no better backup than an american using their own common sense and good judgment and food hearts and by the way, you mentioned earlier about the criminals with guns. i doubt you v foundation had a problem with a concealed carry permit holder who is licensed with a background check using their good judgment. i'm not aware of any problems with texans that are licensed. could you kent on that comment on
that? director comey: not that i can remember. representative: a law enforcement officer's best backup. particularly if he is a texan. we will submit any further questions for the record. and the hearing is adjourned. thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]